It was a fifth straight split double with the ACES electric against the Volts, while the HEARTS ran into a charged up Susie Bates in Queenstown.
ACES vs. Volts | ACES won by eight wickets.
The ACES have signed off 2021 in some style, ending the year with a three-match road winning streak after their latest win over the Otago Volts in Queenstown.
Robbie O’Donnell lost the toss and again his side bowled first on a wicket that was seeing its fourth use.
The initial hustle and bustle was a mere test for the ACES before Lockie Ferguson struck two massive blows in the fourth over. The wickets of Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom gave the ACES the impetus; the attack never relented.
Ferguson would return to the crease in the 11th over to pick up his and the ACES third wicket when Josh Tasman-Jones (24) was caught in the deep by George Worker. Nick Kelly (58) showed a brave approach for the Volts, but Adithya Ashok and Will Somerville struck through the middle. Sealing off the death overs was left to pacemen Ben Lister (2-14) and Ferguson (4-19) to keep the Volts to 129/9.
Chasing 130, the ACES lost Martin Guptill in the first over. It was a minor speedbump as Mark Chapman joined Worker; the pair then put the Volts to the sword.
Chapman (55) won the race to fifty, while Worker (53*) remained at the crease to hit the winning runs at the start of the 18th over. The left-handed duo took turns to play the aggressor and took the ACES to within 20 runs of victory with a partnership of 106 for the second wicket.
HEARTS vs. Sparks | Sparks won by 45 runs.
Earlier, the HEARTS will hope the new year will bring them a return to Super Smash form after a comprehensive defeat at the hands of the Otago Sparks.
Bowling first, the HEARTS were left to rue a couple of costly missed opportunities in the field. The experienced duo of Suzie Bates and Katie Martin then showed their class to take the Sparks to a challenging total of 153/2.
A tidy start from the HEARTS petered out as Bates accessed all areas of the ground. The Sparks skipper would finish unbeaten on 89 off 61 balls, including 10 fours, while Fran Jonas again bowled an impressive four-over spell, finishing with figures of 1-21.
The total wasn’t out of reach on what looked like a good wicket. Molly Loe dented the HEARTS hopes, taking two wickets in the powerplay. While Katie Perkins and Bella Armstrong attempted the rebuild, the run-rate got away from the HEARTS.
When Armstrong retired hurt and Perkins was bowled, the hosts continued to apply pressure to the HEARTS middle order. Eden Carson benefitted from a sky-high required run-rate, picking up 4-12 as the HEARTS fell 45 short.
ACES vs Wellington Firebirds | Ford Trophy
Basin Reserve | 1 & 3 January
HEARTS vs. Wellington Blaze | Hallyburton Johnstone Shield
Kennards Hire Community Oval | 3 & 4 January
Photo Credit: PhotoSportNZ